So we are into the nailbiting time of the season. Every game matters. Can we do it? Use this link to follow the preds chances.
The one thing I do believe, is that regardless of whether we can make the playoffs, we are not a playoff hockey team. If we make it it, it will be more b/c of what others do then what we do. So I figured I would look forward to see what the off season holds and more importantly what the 2010 season will look like based on our cap numbers.
Going into the off season, the Preds have 35.7 in payroll of which 33. 7 counts against the cap.
Of the current roster, the only real decision I see is whether the Preds resign Steve Sullivan. We were very loyal to him during his injury and part of me thinks he might give a home town discount to him. But I wouldn't pay him much. Conservative salary yes, and tie it to incentives.
If we do sign Sully, our 1st line is set for next year:
Sully - Arnott - Dumont
Now any Preds fan knows that our 2nd line has been average at best. If we are to compete, this is the line we need to massivly improve upon. We know we have Legwand and Erat on the Center and Right. We need a big time, big name Left Winger. I don't think we have one in our organization right now. So who could we go out and get. Well, in a perfect world where all my Pred dreams came true, we could sign the Sedin twins. But we are Nashville and those salaries would kill us. And I don't think they will split themselves up. So who else. Hossa..Sure if we could sign him, although his natural position is the right wing. In reality, I don't see anyone who is a UFA or a RFA that fits the bill as of right now. But that isn't to say they aren't out there. Remember how we picked up JP Dumont? With the tight economy and the cap believed to be going lower, there is a good chance that a few players will have to be cut to get a team under the cap. Does a strong winger come out of it. Not sure. The only other option would be a massive trade or to move up on the draft for a super star winger. So lets leave the open winger spot alone for now.
Third line. Now this is where we are going to get very good. Expect our soon to be Hobey Baker award winner Colin Wilson to anchor the 3rd Line. Ryan Jones, who was a Hobey finalist his final year will cover one wing (provided we sign him). Again, another open wing section. Yes it could filled by Ward if we resign him. Patrick Hornqvist should fit into the picture somewhere
All told, we don't have many optionson on offense. But we all knew that. What I hope is that the preds don't resign Bonk, Fiddler, Nicols, Ortmeyer. Great guys, but not playoff caliber hockey players.
All told, we need 3 or 4 big time players who can score, 2 of which are 2 way players on the forward lines.
Now, if that sounds somewhat depressing, our defense should be better.
1st Line - Weber - Suter
2nd Line - Franzon - Hamhouis
3rd Line - Klien - Blum
7th D - Man - A big toss up b/w a person we sign or resign, and Sultzer.
In goal we have Pekka Rinne as our #1. Hopefully we can trade Ellis but his salary might be tough to unload. We give one of our other young guys a chance to suceed. Maybe Pickard, but I think he is a year away at least.